Gaza/Jerusalem, July 21 :
The Israeli army artillery Monday shelled a hospital in the central Gaza Strip, killing four Palestinians and wounding 50 others, most of them paramedics, even as the toll in the ongoing fighting in the coastal enclave rose to 526.
Ashraf al-Qedra, the Gaza health ministry spokesman, said that the al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Ballah was hit by several artillery shells fired from the Israeli tanks stationed near the eastern borders between the central Gaza Strip and Israel.
“Four people were killed and 50 wounded, most of whom are paramedics, nurses and civilians, in the Israeli tank shelling on the hospital,” Xinhua quoted al-Qedra as telling reporters.
He earlier said that three Palestinians were killed after artillery shelling on Shaja’eya neighbourhood renewed Monday afternoon.
Al-Qedra had also said that five Palestinian civilians, three children and two women, were killed, including four from the same family, in an Israeli airstrike on an apartment in a building in northwest Gaza city.
Hamas armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said in separate text messages that gun battles on the ground continued in northern, eastern and central Gaza Strip. It also said that it fired more rockets into northern, central and southern Israel.
The group said in a text message that 10 of its militants were killed in a fierce gun battle east of the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun “after heavy strikes and losses caused to the enemy”.
Israeli war jets and tanks continued their intensive strikes on more houses, lands, cars and hospitals all over the Gaza Strip, according to witnesses and security officials in Gaza.
The health ministry said in an emailed press statement that the death toll rose to 526 and more than 3,200 were injured since the beginning of the Israeli offensive on Gaza July 8.
The housing ministry said that more than 500 residential houses were destroyed during the ongoing Israeli war on the coastal enclave.
According to an earlier report from Jerusalem, at least 10 Palestinian militants, who were trying to infiltrate into Israel through two tunnels, were killed Monday.
The militants were trying to tunnel in their way from northern Gaza to the Israeli side of the border when they were detected by the Israelis, the Israeli military said.
“Israel Air Force targeted one squad and a hit was confirmed,” a military spokesman said.
Israel has lost 18 soldiers and two civilians.